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Midnight gunman sticks up pedestrians twice, in Woodstock

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Outside Woodstock's Lutz Tavern, police talk with witnesses while searching for a gun-toting robber.The late-night Woodstock business district came alive with police activity, just before midnight, on Friday, November 9.

Preliminary information indicates that a man flashed a “silver handgun” and terrorized two sets of victims within minutes – causing Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct district officers to swarm the area.

Within minutes, a dozen patrol cars were posted from S.E. 44th to 52nd Avenue; and from S.E. Woodstock Boulevard to Steele Street.

PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson later confirmed for THE BEE that, at 11:40 pm, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery of a pedestrian at S.E. 47th Avenue and Woodstock Boulevard. “The victim said the suspect took the victim’s keys, wallet, and eyeglasses, and ran away, northbound on 47th Avenue,” Simpson reported.

Officers, including one with a police dog, fanned out through the neighborhood – looking for a suspect described as a white male in his 30s, 5'8", of medium build, wearing a black jacket and blue jeans, perhaps intoxicated, and armed with a handgun.

Meanwhile, other officers converged on the Lutz Tavern, having received another report that the suspected robber had taken refuge inside the establishment. That proved to be false.

During their sweep of the neighborhood, officers came across a second victim, in the 5600 block of S.E. 46th Avenue – one block due west of Woodstock Park. “The victim told officers that the suspect was last seen running eastbound through the neighborhood,” Simpson added.

Some patrol cars were “lit up”, with all their flashing red and blue strobes and spotlights on, around the perimeter of the dragnet area – while others drove slowly, or parked with lights off – all trying to flush out the gun-toting bandit.

They were unsuccessful. The suspect remains at large, Simpson said.

But, alert cops did bust another crime in the process: “While officers were searching the neighborhood, they came across an occupied stolen car parked in the 5500 block of S.E. 48th Avenue,” Simpson revealed.

The female in the car, 23-year-old Brittany Ann East, was arrested at 11:50 pm and was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 2:02 a.m. for a parole violation. “It does not appear that either she or the stolen car are connected to the robberies,” Simpson added.

Anyone with information about this suspect is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau Robbery Detail at 503/823-0405.